P287H – Monument Valley at Sunrise – Monument Valley Tribal Park, AZ

Quite possibly this is one of the more iconic scenes in all of the southwest. The mittens at Monument Valley Tribal Park have been photographed since before John Ford started making movies at this location in the 1940’s.

I’ve made countless trips to Monument Valley since the early 1980’s and I’ve never been disappointed. It was a brisk morning in late November when I took this image. I camped at the small primitive campground only a few feet away from this site. I almost didn’t have to get out of my sleeping bag to shoot this image.

Because I had recently ended an overnight star trail photograph, my camera was already setup and ready to go for a soft silhouette of the iconic mesas. The sun was reflecting on ice crystals in the cool November sky so the colors were quite spectacular.

I know every photographer has this view, and I suppose it’s all too common, but it’s hard not to feel good when you capture such a fantastic scene on film with the right conditions.

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